There were over 1,700 entrants spread over two days in my first tournament of the California State Poker Championship. I played on Day 2 and got about what I expected from my competition - a bunch of crappy players!
We started with blind of 25/25 and 3,000 chips. My first good hand I raised to 75 and got 5 callers! OK I guess I need to go bigger. Next I raised to 100 first in and got 6 callers! Finally I raised to 125 under the gun and got called by 7 players! It was insane. The first guy in after me in that last one had 53s and the player after him had 56 off. We saw every single flop for the first hour and there were only one or two preflop reraises. These guys were weak!
Players tightened up a little as the blinds got bigger, but the play was still pretty weak. In my first big confrontation I raised JJ and got called by the woman just to my left. She was pretty tight and I'd seen her smooth call with 99 a few hands earlier.
The flop came down 8 7 5, I bet 500 into the 550 chip pot and she made it 1,000. ACK! This was screaming set, but I decided I wasn't sure enough to make a lay down this big. I decided to go for it and reraised all in. I wasn't surprised to see I was up against 55, but I was happy when the turn came a 9 and the river a ten. The only downside is I had to hear her bitch about this hand for the next hour as if it was the worst bad beat of all time.
From there I ran my stack up to 10,000 and was feeling good about my chances. Then I got 3,000 in preflop with TT vs QJ. After that I lost another 3,000 with JJ vs AQ.
On my final hand the blinds were 150/300 with a 25 chip ante and I had about 4,000 left. One player raised to 750 and got called by the guy just to my right. The first player was raising often and the other was calling a lot with a wide range of hands. I thought there was a good chance I could get them to fold if I moved all in and considered doing it no matter what I had. When I looked down at my first card and saw it was an ace it was an easy decision.
Sadly a third player woke up with JJ behind me and moved all in. My kicker turned out to be a 2 which meant I was in big trouble. The first card off the deck was an ace, but the second was a jack and that was it.
The good news is I went over to a nice $20/$40 game, won $500 in about 45 minutes and then got a call from my wife telling me her sister and boyfriend were free for dinner and I should head out.
Today I have $335 no limit hold'em at 2 and there is a $335 7 card stud at 5 pm. Late registration for the stud stays open for 2 hours so if I go broke anytime in the first 5 hours of the NLH I'll be playing the stud as well.
Wish me luck!